The Cross Keys at the border of Shropshire, England and Powys, Wales

As the Scotland independence vote is going to be on Thursday, it’s dominated the news.  I listened the BBC Wales radio this morning, Felicity Evans’ talk about the Cross Keys Hotel called my interest particularly.

Now I have a bit time and searched the location of the Cross Keys. It is a Georgian grade II listed building situated in the village of Llanymynech, which straddles the border of Shropshire, England and Powys, Wales. Outside of the front door of the pub, it’s the Powys of Wales. Step into the pub, it’s the Shropshire of England.

You can listen to Felicity’s talk through this website if it’s a bit difficult to search it on the BBC Radio Wales website.

The diary of a young girl

It took me three months to finish the book <<The diary of a young girl – Anne Frank>>. I never thought it would take me so long. With very complex feelings, it’s difficult to read quickly and easily. At a quiet night, 5-10 pages were far too enough, otherwise I felt sad and depressed. The girl was so sensitive, intelligent, strong and deep thinking.

“Sometimes I think God is trying to test me, both now and in the future. I’ll have to become a good person on my own, without anyone to serve as a model or advise me, but it’ll make me stronger in the end.” (p.141; Saturday, 30 October 1943)

“We have many reasons to hope for great happiness, but… we have to earn it. And that’s something you can’t achieve by taking the easy way out. Earning happiness means doing good and working, not speculating and being lazy. Laziness may look inviting, but only work gives you true satisfaction.” (p. 324; Thursday, 6 July 1944)

“… the house was intended ‘neither as a museum nor a place of pilgrimage. It is an earnest warning from the past and a mission of hope for the future’.” (p.347; Otto Frank)

A few years ago, I visited the 263 Prinsengracht, Amsterdam without reading the whole book. A photo of Anne Frank’s statue.

Cardiff Castle tour

I have been in Cardiff Castle 4 or 5 times. This time, I joined a premium tour, which was a PHEW activity, just for myself.

It’s interesting to know a bit of the medieval and Victorian history when we walked through the incredible themed rooms (in the Clock Tower), following the guide and listening to her revealing the “secrets”.

– The theme of the Winter Smoking Room is time and it’s men’s room. With various decorations, it tells the time of a day, the seasons of a year, the days of the week, and so on. Burges’ devil head carved above the door is to scare women away from eavesdropping at the door while the men talked.

– The largest room in the castle is The Banqueting Hall, which is the focal point of LordBute and Burges’ restoration project that began in 1872 and was completed in 1890. It’s a theme of the Middle Ages history of the castle.
– The nursery has fairy tales and tiles painted on the walls. There is an invisible prince on the wall near a window. Can you see it?

(my photo is not as good as this one: http://www.bugbitten.com/photos/Europe/vilzemz/The_Prague_that_wasnt/88915-11854-3180387.html)

– The Lord Bute’s Bedroom has 189 mirrors on the ceiling and seven churches of Asia in the stained glasswindows referred to by St. John. They were designed to reflect Bute’s first name (John) in Greek in both true and mirror images. An adjoining bathroom inset with about 60 varieties of marble.

– The dining table in the dining room has a hole in the center. Do you know what is it for? I thought it’s to hold plates of sources. Of course, this is not the right answer.

(from http://cache.virtualtourist.com/1/1416823-Cardiff_Castle-Cardiff.jpg)

– The library has five abvious statues above the fireplace, each represents in a different alphabet: Greek, Babylonian, Aramaic, Egyptian, and Celtic. Most valuable books have gone to the University libraries, museums or with the family.

Like the place, will definitely go again.

People, stories and places to visit

This is an interesting topic. If you travel in the UK, these places may be on your list.

Film Braveheart directed by Mel Gibson in 1995 – Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle; Fort William; Highland: Glen Coe (more Filming locations)

“The Beatles” (Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon), world well-known band – Liverpool: The Beatles story

Novel Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen in 1813
* Bath: the Jane Austen centre
* Alton, Chawton: Jane Austen’s House Museum

Movie Pride and Prejudice directed by Joe Wright in 2005 – Chatsworth House in Dutchess, Peak District (more Filming locations)

Novel Wuthering Heights written by Emily Brontë in 1847
Novel Agnes Grey written by Anne Brontë in 1847
Novel Jane Eyre written by Charlotte Brontë in 1847
– Haworth: Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth Parish Church, Brontë Fall and Brontë Bridge, Top Withens

Film Wuthering Heights directed by Peter Kosminsky in 1992 – North Yorkshire: Aysgarth Falls, Aysgarth, Wensleydale; Grassington; Yorkshire Moors; Malham

Film Jane Eyre directed by Susanna White in 2006 – Belton: Belton House; Dovedale; Sudbury: Sudbury Hall

Novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles written by Thomas Hardy in 1981 – Dorset: Hardy’s Cottage, Max Gate, Dorset Museum

Robin Hood, a heroic outlaw in English folklore – Nottingham: The 12 part trail begins at Nottingham Castle and ends up at St Mary’s Church – two Nottingham landmarks steeped in Robin Hood legend
Movie Robin Hood directed by in Ridley Scott in 2010 – Surrey: Bourne Woods

Novels Sons and Lovers(1913), Women in Love(1920) and Lady Chatterley’s Lover(1928) written by David Herbert Lawrence – Nottingham, Eastwood: Durban House Heritage Centre, the D. H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum

Princess Diana – lthorp House and Park

William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright – Stratford-upon-Avon: Shakespeare’s Birthplace, The River Avon, Nash’s House, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage at Shottery

Film Harry Potter
* Main Hall of Hogwarts – Oxford: Christ church college, Dinning Hall
* Hogwarts School, library scenes – Oxford: Duke Humfrey’s Library, Bodleian Library
* Hogwarts School, sanatorium scenes – Oxford: Divinity School, Bodleian Library
* Platform 9¾: London: kingcross station
* Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Quidditch games – Alnwick: Alnwick Castle
* Hogwarts School, Classroom – Durham: Durham Cathedral
*(more filming locations)

Peom Saying Good-bye to Cambridge Again written by Xu Zhimo – Cambridge: Cambridge University, King’s College

Weng Meiling, Hongkong film star – Cambridge: central cemetery (New market road)

Novel Alice’s Adventures Under Ground written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) in 1865, a lecturer in Christ church college
* Oxford: Oxford Alice’s shop, Oxford University, Christ church college
* Llandudno, Wales: The Alice in Wonderland Centre

Film Alice’s Advantures in Wonderland directed by William Sterling in 1972 – Surrey: Shepperton, Shepperton Studios
Film Alice in Wonderland directed by Tim Burton in 2010 – Cornwall: Antony House (Filming locations)

Stories Winnie-the-Pooh – Sussex: Ashdown Forest

Film King’s speech directed by Tom Hooper in 2010 – London: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Regent’s Park (more Filming locations)